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A Demolition firm has been fined after knocking down a building in the Lake District which contained hundreds of asbestos ceiling tiles without following the correct procedures and therefore putting the lives of workers and local residents at risk. IBT Contracting Ltd was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after carrying out the work at a former photography factory in Staveley near Kendal during August and September 2011.
Kendal Magistrates’ Court heard how IBT had been informed of the asbestos containing material in a survey made available by the owners of the site ahead of the work taking place. The survey stated that the building contained 166 square meters of asbestos ceiling tiles, which are considered notifiable, and therefore must be removed by licensed contractors. The company failed to arrange for a licensed contractor to remove the tiles safely, and instead released deadly asbestos fibers into the air during the building’s demolition.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching three Health and Safety regulations and were fined £10, 800 and ordered to pay £3, 638 in court costs and a £15 surcharge by South Lakeland Magistrates. Speaking after the hearing, HSE investigating inspector Allen Shute said: “This Company put the lives of workers in danger by cutting corners and not using a licensed contractor to safely remove the asbestos ceiling tiles”. He illustrated the seriousness of the company’s actions by stating that those exposed to the fibers “may develop a deadly asbestos-related disease in the years to come because of the actions of IBT Contracting”.
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Published Apr 10, 2012